Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
Caveat: The author makes no claim to being an exemplar of Catholicism or Monarchism (or blogging).
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Eastern problems and a cry for Eastern help

Taking another horrifying trip to see the in-laws next weekend outside The Rotten Apple.

There is, at least, the satisfaction of being able to attend a Ruthenian church.

Have you ever attended a Ruthenian Liturgy in downstate New York? Much friendlier than your average Ukrainian Byzantine parish. And it's funny to see a traditionally Slavic branch of Christendom packed full of swarthy Sicilian types chanting with heavy Noo Yawk accents.

Yet, the tradition isn't there - the Latinizations are severe, the downside of openness. So it seems that, in the Eastern half of things, there is an inverse relationship between tradition and friendliness. One by necessity increases as the other decreases.

It's democracy's fault, not theirs. Let's do a little classical reasoning:
  • GIVEN: Priests, in the democratic mindset, typically timidly defer to parishioners.
  • GIVEN: Any Catholic may register in any parish, regardless of sui iuris status, without joining that sui iuris Church.
  • GIVEN: Native Easterners are a minority in the Universal Church - 2%.
  • THEREFORE: An influx of Romans will water down a church without a strong leader.
  • THEREFORE: The only way to retain Eastern Tradition is to be unfriendly, or be lucky enough to have a powerful rector.

The Eastern Churches, particularly the Byzantine ones, could provide a strong alternative to the Novus cOrdo Establishment, but they are either wracked with ghetto mentality, martyr complexes ("The Big Bad Latin Church is so mean to us,"), or are maybe afraid to step on Western toes.

America could use a sincere (and not flighty) Byzantine version of Tom Monahan who'd build churches - all over the U.S. - and pay priestly salaries even if no one showed up. That'd get all the fat, lazy politicians in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to take notice.

There are others who could help us, too.

Provided, adding up the Copts and Ethiopians, there are less than 500,000 Alexandrian Catholics in the world; but imagine the knots the Religious Left and the NeoCatholics would tie themselves in if there was a conversion push in the West by an established hierarchy of "Tradition-and-Morality" Africans.

Could you see the conversations in the smoky backrooms of the USCCB?

Bishop Limpwrist: "The Ethiopian Church is making a push for our fallen-away members."
Arcbishop McGreedy: "That means fewer dollars for us ..."
Bishop Limpwrist: " ... and imagine what the L.A. Times will say about their theology!"
Cardinal O'Banality: "What will be said at my next Manhattan dinner party? We have to put a stop to this."
Archbishop McGreedy: "But they're ... black. What can we do? The media already thinks we hate women and caused the Holocaust, we can't take another hit."
Bishop Limpwrist: "I've got it! Dust off Bishop Wilton Gregory, we'll have him do the dirty work on this one."
Bishop Wellfed: "How about Hip Hop Masses?"
Cardinal O'Banality: "Certainly a good thought to impress the TV news, but no one will actually go. And people tempted by these archaic, obsolete rites won't be drawn in by such things."
Bishop Wellfed: "We might have to offer an Indult Mass on every-other Solemnity of St. Joseph. I know it's painful to discuss, but we can rescind it once the threat is gone."

And on and on and on ...


Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Try the Russian Catholics! We're as traditional as it gets, and extremely friendly. We won't stand for having the smallest Latinisations in place (except those that went on under the Russian Empire... those are kosher).

Having said that, there are fewer than 15 Russian Catholic parishes in the world...

Monday, August 08, 2005 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Haraldsson said...

Hey, if you can get a Russian Catholic priest to upstate New York, you've got your first parishioner!

Monday, August 08, 2005 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Han Ng said...

We have four parishes in the United States. There is one outside L.A., one in San Francisco, one in Denver (my parish) and one in New York City. The Empire State is not that big--you can drive. :-)

Monday, August 08, 2005 10:53:00 PM  
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